Like It Is

OPINION | WALLY HALL: It's a welcome home for Loggains and family

Two smiles in Bryant, Ark., could have lit up the skies to Nashville, as in Tennessee.

That was the closest Jenny and Larry Burnett have ever been to the grandchildren.

They had been as far away as New Jersey and Miami, but last week it was announced their son-in-law, Dowell Loggains, had been hired to coach the Arkansas Razorbacks tight ends.

This is almost like a fairy tale come true.

Loggains was a walk-on quarterback and holder for the Razorbacks who met Beth, a cheerleader, when Arkansas played in the Las Vegas Bowl in 2000.

Loggains claims it took him a year to talk her into going on a date with him.

Jenny and Larry saw almost every game she cheered at Arkansas and they didnb't miss many games when their son Mark was a three-year starter at second base for the Razorbacks. He now lives in Fort Smith.

One-stop family loving is no doubt part of the glow of the Burnetts' new happiness.

The Loggains have four children, and all have known how to call the Hogs from the time they could talk.

Several years ago when Loggains was the offensive coordinator for the Tennessee Titans he appeared a few times on a radio show in Little Rock.

He was asked if would ever considered leaving the NFL to coach his beloved Hogs.

"I hope that day comes," he said.

After 13 years in the NFL the chance to come home was seized.

Loggains was with Penn State when the call from Sam Pittman came, and like when he was hired as the head coach, there wasn't much negotiating.

Loggains, who was born in Newport and raised in Texas, has never lost his passion for the Razorbacks.

During football season whether he was home or traveling with NFL teams, he would set his phone to give him updates during the Hog games.

In his Razorbacks career he was 1-of-1 passing and ran two times, but he safely held for 50 extra points and field goals.

If there had been an award for Razorback pride and passion, he would have won it every year.

He got his degree in kinesiology and his master's in education.

Beth also has a degree in kinesiology from the UA, but when they were living in Nashville she got a doctorate of physical therapy from Belmont University.

Loggains' first NFL job was as a scout with the Dallas Cowboys, but his charm, personality, intelligence and desire quickly turned into a job with the Titans where he eventually was promoted to offensive coordinator.

He would move to Cleveland where he had the chore of coaching rookie Johnny Manziel. From there, it was to the Bears where he rose to the OC spot again and that's what Miami hired him to do.

When he was hired by the Jets to call plays it was Beth's seventh time to pack a home and family, sell a house and find another home.

Loggains has described her as the perfect coach's wife.

Of all the moves they have made, this is probably the most highly anticipated.

Saying Loggains has never left his Fayetteville roots would be an understatement.

He still has the same cell phone number he did in college.

He'll be the only coach on staff who was a Razorback player, and he's been around enough to know he's not coming into the greatest situation in college football.

The Razorbacks won three games last season, all during an SEC-only schedule, and there was joy in the football program and Razorback world, but that won't be enough long.

Hiring Loggains was a win-win. He's a tireless worker with great knowledge of the game and Razorback passion.

The Razorback family just got a lot bigger.

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